USB memory stick and SD card not shown in Windows Explorer

Short and sweet:
USB memory sticks and SD cards do not show up in Explorer, but the do show up in disk management..  In contrast my external USB HDs work perfectly.  I have tried different sticks/cards, different USB ports, and assigning drive letters to no avail.  I also performed a windows repair, which did not improve it any.  This started after a long ordeal see below for the excruciatingly painful details.

Long and gruesome :
Recently I sent my laptop in for some hardware repair.  Before I did I removed my hard drive and installed it in an USB external HD case in order to use it temporarily with an older laptop (to do so I had to take ownership of the files with the old laptop).  When I put my HD drive back in the repaired laptop and tried to boot Windows would not start up.  So I performed a Windows repair, which allowed Windows to start but it gave me an error message saying that windows had just recovered from a major failure.  When I logged in the screen looked ike a default account so I look and sure enough a new user folder named "username.COMPUTERNAME" was present aloong with my user folder "username".  So I took ownership of my files because could not access them.  Then I ran regedit and replaced all  instances of "username.COMPUTERNAME" with "username" and reboot the computer.  Now it was back to my user account.  I did not test the sd cards or memory sticks before doing all of the above (they did work before I sent my laptop in for some hardware repair).  USB memory sticks and SD cards do not show up in Explorer.  However my external USB HDs work perfectly.  The do show up in disk management.  I have tried different sticks/cards, different USB ports, and assigning drive letters to no avail.  I also performed a windows repair, which did not improve it any.  Next time I'll ghost my drive (image backup) before doing this, so it can be restored exactly to the previous state.

HP Compaq tc4200
1.73 GHz, 1GB RAM
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

Thanks in advance,
Chris Brammer
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Maybe its a good idea to re-install your drivers.
They might have been damaged after the windows repair.


it could well be the windows install isnt recognising some drivers due to the swapping out of HDD's a repair sometimes fixes this to get you back in but drivers are still out of whack with what is on teh system,

One thing to try would be from device manager uninstall teh usb hub controller and check for any missing drivers with a yellow ! next to them once you have uninstalled shut down and reboot and then check they have reinstalled
some things to try :
unplug pc from power for 30 minutes
then test
What happens when you start the removable service. Delete the upper filter and lower filter from here
usb device.
Delete upper and lower filter and restart the computer.
look for Removable Storage Service. Is is set to Auto, and if not started, click the Start link in the top left...
In c:\windowsc:\windows\inf.  look for usbstor.inf -  If not found, copy from another PC. If you find it, right click it and select Install
See if it rebuilds the USB support...
 copy the USBSTOR.SYS from a working PC to the bad one. (copy the old one somewhere else first)
normally located at c:\windows\system32\drivers
but it can end up in a fresh install of XP

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
The Ultimate Tool Kit for Technolgy Solution Provi

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy for valuable how-to assets including sample agreements, checklists, flowcharts, and more!

gmbrammerAuthor Commented:
I tried all of the above suggestions, but none of them worked.  I am having some other problems with hibernation and a windows login error, so I have decided to just reinstall windows.  Nobus, thanks for all the suggestions, I'll give you a 100 for listing so many things for me to try.

gmbrammerAuthor Commented:
Well I don't think I can assign points like that, so I'll just give nobus full credit.


Reinstalling Windows did fix the problem.
gmbrammerAuthor Commented:
Your Registry modification suggestion could have been a little more clear by giving an example of they are, i.e. mine where 0000 and 0062.
But that's being a little picky.

Thanks for the help,
there is no general fix for usb, at least that i know of - or i would have given it
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Laptops Notebooks

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.